Book Reviews

Review: On This Unworthy Scaffold by Heidi Heilig

The Shadow Players series has been a series that has been thoughtful and action packed. Being able to read them all back to back has allowed me to sink into an immersive story and atmosphere. Conversations about colonization and resistance permeate the series. Keep reading this review for my full thoughts!


Jetta’s home is spiraling into civil war.

Le Trépas—the deadly necromancer—has used his blood magic to wrest control of the country, and Jetta has been without treatment for her malheur for weeks. Meanwhile, Jetta’s love interest, brother, and friend are intent on infiltrating the palace to stop the Boy King and find Le Trépas to put an end to the unleashed chaos.

The sweeping conclusion to Heidi Heilig’s ambitious trilogy takes us to new continents, introduces us to new gods, flings us into the middle of palace riots and political intrigue, and asks searching questions about power and corruption. As in the first two books, the story is partly told in ephemera, including original songs, myths, play scripts, and various forms of communication.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

On This Unworthy Scaffold examines the weaponization of people. What happens to us when we are turned into weapons, when our souls are weaponized. At the same time, it examines the differences between ourselves, and Jetta, and the forces she, and her friends, fight. Just because we think, we are different from those we fight, does that make it true? If our motives are ‘pure’ does that make it better? Within this conflict, who is worthy to be saved? Where does their ‘worthiness’ stem from?

On This Unworthy Scaffold doesn’t offer easy answers. This finale delves into our definitions of ‘foreigners’ and ‘citizens’. While Jetta and her friends might be fighting on grand scales, what changes in the lives of those around her? The ones who pick up the pieces. If you’ve loved the series so far, then you are bound to enjoy this finale. Do our differences lie in what we can do? What we will sacrifice for the “greater” good? Our old enemies are never truly gone, especially if we let them live on in our heart. This Unworthy Scaffold maintains the same pace from the rest of the series. It illustrates the ways our lives have been irrevocably changed, altered, the paths of our waters and songs of our heart.

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Find On This Unworthy Scaffold on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


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